6/29/2012 – Some success

Much as we’d like to tie all of our equipment failures together, assuming that one thing led to the next, sometimes it’s all just coincidence.

We had three failures:
1.) Possibly slipping clutch (or other drive train issue)
2.) Sheared engine mounting bolts
3.) Engine died and wouldn’t keep running when restarted.

Since they all happened more or less concurrently, one would assume that they were connected. Well, near as I can see, they aren’t.

The slipping clutch, if indeed it IS slipping, might be caused by the fact that I’m using 40W oil in it instead of the recommended 30W. Why? Try finding straight 30W oil in Mexico. I haven’t seen it anywhere. I think we’ll pull the transmission when we get to Guaymas and have it overhauled, just in case. But maybe, just maybe, it’s not slipping at all and we were just going slowly because of the currents up here. But, probably, it’s slipping.

The sheared engine mounts. The mounts are 22 years old and quite rusty. When we leaving Puerto Pesco, I jammed the lever into REVERSE a little more exuberantly than normal. Thought at the time that it probably wasn’t a good idea. Don’t know if one or more mounts sheared at that point or not, but it’s possible.

The engine dying and not restarting: turned out the electric fuel pump was failing. Fortunately I had a spare on board that I bought when we were in Puerto Pesco. Installed it this afternoon and the engine started up and ran just fine.

So here’s out status: Michael brought me some hose clamps today. I traded him some motor oil which he needed for a problem he’s having. I managed to get 2 of the 3 failed engine mounts tied down with the hose clamps. Couldn’t manage to get the 3rd one to hold. I reinstalled the tranny. I replaced the faulty electric fuel pump. So, now we have an engine that starts and runs reliably connected to a transmission that may or may not but probably is slipping. And the engine is tied down using hose clamps. And we’re feeling pretty darn good about stuff.

We’re just about to head out. Planning on an overnight sail to Guaymas although it may take longer than that. But we figure tonight and tomorrow are our best bets for helpful winds (though they won’t be very helpful). We’re hoping to catch some ebb tide current for the first 6 hours or so as well. We still plan to sail to Guaymas, saving our engine for entering the port and getting to the haulout yard. No telling when one of those hose clamps will snap so we decided to only use the engine when NEEDED. This will be a good lesson for us.

Okay, hopefully my next dispatch will be from Guaymas and soon.

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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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9 Responses to 6/29/2012 – Some success

  1. SailVivacia says:

    Well, if you’re reading this, you must have made to Guaymas. Congratulations! What a perfect storm of problems between the transmission, the engine mounts and the fuel pump. I know there’s no way you can “enjoy” the problems, but it must give you a great sense of accomplishment when you diagnose and either fix or work around the issues to make it into port. It is always instructive for the rest of us who are out here cruising. Sooner or later we’re all going to be doing the same thing. So thanks!

    • sryoder says:

      Yah, that’s the thing that keeps us all going. We KNOW that, no matter what it is, it’s already happened to someone else and they managed to get through it.

  2. WOW–lots of excitement! There was a boat named FAN next to us while we were anchored in Bahia San Carlos–wonder if it is the same boat? Only one gentleman aboard, but he never answered us when we called on the radio. Anyway, hopeing you are now safely in San Carlos or Buaymas. Let us know. When it rains it pours, I guess!

    • sryoder says:

      Very probably the same Fan. White ferro ketch? Rust stains on the bow? Center cockpit? Micheal answers us on the radio but that’s maybe because he already knows us. He’s a pretty private guy. And, if he’s like us, his radio is off a lot. Ours is off right now because the inverter that’s charging up this computer causes static on the radio, pissing everyone off as it sounds like we keep keying the mike.

  3. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    I knew you would solve the problems. Have great faith in you. Take after your Dad in figuring out problems, then solutions. Sometimes it takes a while but eventually you both hve it solved. Good luck, Mom

  4. Wow! What an adventure you guys have been having the past week! We’re enroute to San Carlos now and are looking forward to meeting you. We’ll be passing through Tucson on tuesday if you need any items brought down (30W oil, etc?) Just let us know. We don’t have much available room, but we could probably squeeze a bit more in! Good luck and enjoy the last leg!
    Katie and Mark

  5. sailmama says:

    Yikes….we are so sorry that we aren’t still in San Carlos to give you a “helping hand” in some way! What bad timing. We will be sending prayers up for your safe and trouble-free arrival in Guaymas.

    If you can’t make it that far, Jesus is manager of the dry marina in San Carlos and DOES have space available for a few more boats, especially since we cancelled our haul-out last Wednesday. So there’s a “backup option” should you decide you need a port sooner. He ordered more stands from somewhere on the east coast of US, and those finally arrived, so he was able to open another small section of the yard after many boats thought he was “sold out”.

    Also, Marina San Carlos and Marina Real (in the harbor just before Bahia SC) both have slips remaining and those aren’t very expensive for your size boat, should you and Lulu decide (as we did) that the heat/humidity are just too dreadful to allow all the prep needed for hauling out. We adopted a the daily siesta in a cheap room ($35/night at Posada del Desierto uphill from the MSC) to rest up in A/C and survive the final push. All are options suggested in case you need to pull-in sooner than Guaymas.

    Let us know if there’s anything else we can do from here….”been there/done that” and happy to have survived the trip to California. Oh, yeah – we took an overnight Tufesa bus from Guaymas to Phoenix…let us know if you are interested in details. Beware that some are not running now due to lack of customers, so call to ensure you have correct schedules.

    • sryoder says:

      As you know by now, we are gong to haul out here in San Carlos tomorrow. We must be missing something because, other than folding our dinghy back up, we’re not doing too much prep before the haulout. We’ll be in the work yard first where we will strip off the sails, one of the solar panels, the dodger, empty the fridge and the composting head, etc. Then they’ll move us to the storage yard and our work will be done as they don’t allow any work there. Thanks for letting us stay on Chamisa while we’re in the yard. We may still opt for a day or two at the Posada del Desierto if it gets too hot. Beautiful breeze blowing through the harbor today, Of course, the boat is rocking and rolling as a result. Can’t have everything I guess.

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